What Ginseng Is And What It Does
What Ginseng Is:
Ginseng is the dried root of one of several species of the Araliaceae family of herbs. The most commonly used type is Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng C.A., Meyer), often sold as Panax, Chinese, or Korean ginseng. Closely related to Asian ginseng is American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.), which is sometimes preferred for its milder effects. Siberian ginseng, also called eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus Rupr ex Maxim), isn't as closely related to the other two and contains a series of unrelated compounds. Eleuthero is also considered weaker in action and is a less expensive ingredient. Ginseng-containing foods and dietary supplements are typically made from a powder or extract of ginseng root.
Ginseng is widely used in the United States to improve overall energy and vitality, particularly during times of fatigue or stress. While there is not much clinical evidence to support an energy boosting effect, there are studies showing its potential value in normalizing glucose levels after meals in diabetics, stimulating immune function, treating male impotence and, when used with Ginkgo biloba, improving memory and symptoms of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children. Plant chemicals called ginsenosides are believed to play a role in ginseng's activity. They are considered "marker" compounds for ginseng
Restless Leg Syndrome And Supplements
Restless Legs Syndrome is a condition that affects about ten percent of the population. The disorder is characterized by an urge to move the legs, usually accompanied by or caused by uncomfortable leg sensations. People with RLS often have difficulty describing their symptoms. Common terms used to describe the sensations are aching, twitching, tingling, burning, creeping, crawling, itching, flowing, pulling, searing and painful. Many people experience these sensations in their legs, but the arms or other body regions also can be affected. The symptoms of RLS are generally worse at night, can be brought on by rest and are relieved by standing up or walking around.
I, too, suffer from RLS occasionally. I've had periods of my life where the condition seemed to worsen (probably stress-related). Some of the following suggestions may work for you, for others maybe not. For me, the lifestyle changes I made to help with my insomnia also helped with my RLS. I still have a sleepless night or a night with RLS, but they are far less frequent. Although www.natural-cures-for-insomnia.com does not endorse drug use, there are new drugs available for extreme cases of RLS when nothing else works.
Treatment begins by dealing with any underlying medical condition that may be cause the symptoms. Many times the cause is unknown, but it can be associated with neurological disorders, diabetes, stress and pregnancy. The serious sleep loss can not only lead to drowsiness, but could lead to depression and accidental injuries as well. In recent years, researchers have discovered that iron, folate or vitamin E levels are often low in RLS sufferers and supplementation can frequently help. For example, when iron deficiency is the cause, taking iron supplements can significantly reduce the symptoms of RLS.
"We know that iron deficiency is involved because every condition that produces iron deficiency, such as anemia or pregnancy, increases the risk of RLS dramatically," says Richard Allen, PhD, a diplomat on the American Board of Sleep Medicine and a founder of the Johns Hopkins Sleep Disorders Center. In fact, based on studies of hospital patients, about 40 percent of people with anemia had RLS and about 20 percent to 40 percent of pregnant women have RLS.
Another way researchers know that iron plays a role is iron-deficient patients' response to iron supplementation. "Then when the iron deficiency is corrected, the RLS often remits," Dr. Allen says.
Some people with RLS, however, have normal iron levels. Researchers say that's not a reason to discount iron as an underlying cause of their RLS. Studies indicate that the problem is the brains of RLS patients may not absorb iron normally.
Some other treatment options which may relieve pain include leg massages, hot baths, heat or icepacks, aspirin or other over-the-counter pain relievers, and the elimination of caffeine. As well, regular sleep habits and exercise, especially earlier in the day, will help people enjoy more restful sleep.
MAGNESIUM AND CALCIUM
Cramps in the lower limbs, restless leg syndrome and sleeplessness can be eased by the addition of calcium and magnesium to the diet. Magnesium is more easily absorbed by the body in the form of dolomite, or with the addition of calcium.
Magnesium helps to support a strong immune system and maintains normal muscle and nerve function. It is also known to be involved in every metabolism and protein synthesis and is needed for over three hundred biochemical reactions in the body, so it is very important.
One of the benefits of magnesium is its muscle relaxing properties. The heart is a muscle and high blood pressure is often caused by the heart not relaxing sufficiently on its outward (diastolic) beat. There is increasing interest in the role magnesium can play in managing hypertension and cardiovascular disease.
WHAT TO AVOID
You should avoid things that can make symptoms of RLS worse:
Award Winning Aromatic Plants
I recently was involved in the exhibition of a show garden at the 2006 "Garden Heaven" exhibition. I worked along with Terra Garden Ireland based in Claregalway on the bronze medal winning Malaysian themed garden "Neo Nusantara". The garden combined wood, stone, earth and planting with two unique water features. The design aimed to appease and rejuvenate the five senses. Sight, touch, sound, smell and taste. Beautiful dark woods and running water used in the construction were a delight to the senses of sight, touch and sound. I used carefully selected planting to arouse the sense of smell. Here are two of the plants I used to add scent to the garden. Use them to add scent to your garden as well.
* Sage, for scent and flower
Salvia x sylvestris "Mainacht" commonly known as May night sage is a hardy perennial native to Western Asia and Europe. This sage is a colourful plant with indigo-blue flower spikes throughout June and July. In order to achieve this prolonged flowering you must remove the flower spikes as soon they start to fade. The striking flowers are held above the plants wrinkled and aromatic grey-green leaves. As well as exciting the gardener's sense of smell, this plant will also excite and attract plenty of butterflies and bees. These visitors will add an extra and welcome visual element to your garden. You need not worry that Salvia x sylvestris "Mainacht" is going to engulf or overpower you planting areas. It only grows at a moderate pace to height of 60cm (2ft), with a similar spread. Position this reliable perennial in the front or middle of a well-drained border. It does really well in sun or dappled shade where the bright blue flowers will add a colour boost to green leaved plants.
* English lavender for scent and butterflies
The second scented plant is Lavandula angustifolia "Hidcote" commonly known as English lavender. This small evergreen shrub (some people say herb) originated in Europe and Asia and grows to a height of 0.6 metres (2ft); with a similar spread. Growing in many gardens throughout the country, its long stalked deep purple flower spikes wave gently above narrow grey-green aromatic leaves. These blooms will last for many weeks to come whilst on the plant, when cut for indoor display these flowers will last up to 10 days. I suggest you cut back the flower stalks after flowering to maintain the plant's compact shape. Care must be taken not to cut into old wood as this can cause large areas of the plant to die back. The oil of lavender extracted from this frost hardy shrub is used to this day in the production of soaps, scented candles, perfumes and making potpourri. Lavender copes well with free draining or sandy soils and is an ideal container plant in full sun due to its drought resistance. I would recommend this scented plant for edging walkways or simply if you want to attract some butterflies into your garden space. Another great lavender for this purpose is Lavandula angustifolia "Munstead"
Colours Of The Soul Colour Therapy
Colour surrounds us, we live and breath colour often on a subconscious level. How many of us take colour for granted? We often are so busy in our everyday lives to stop and realise the kaleidoscope of colour that surrounds us. Imagine a world without colour; how would this effect our feelings and emotions, our creative expression and our perception of the world we live in?
Colours in our environment affect us on a daily basis, they can act as unconscious triggers that influence how we think, feel and react to the world around us. We are able to see around 7,000,000 colours, some combinations can create a clash of the senses where as other colour combinations create an atmosphere of harmony and balance. The 'right' choice of colours can create a haven for relaxation or an environment that can increase productivity, stimulate the mind and raise energy levels.
Colour affects us all on a very deep level, we often use colour to describe how we feel. Instinctively we know what a particular colour symbolises to us or how it makes us feel. Think of phrases such as 'feeling blue', 'in the pink' or 'red with rage'.
Color therapy works on the principle that we all are in need of light and colour to keep well balanced and in good health. Natural daylight contains all the colours of the spectrum that our energy centres need in order to stay well physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. It is essential that we spend a minimum of half an hour a day in natural daylight whatever the weather, as we absorb light and the coloured rays through our eyes and skin.
How do we know which colours we are in need of?
Colour surrounds us everywhere, some colours literally jump out at us, instantly and instinctively we breathe in as we experience that 'must have' feeling. These are the colours that we need to surround ourselves with on that particular day. We can place coloured objects in our working space or decorate our living space with flowers of our chosen colour. We can wear scarves, clothes or pieces of semi precious jewellery in our chosen colour.
To find out more about colour therapy training and the transformational effect it can have on our everyday lives and overall health visit Colours of the Soul - register online to receive a free newsletter, receive a free mini reading, participate in an online forum, go shopping and access a variety of information and news on Colour Therapy.
Acid Reflux Disease The Big Lie
Have you ever wondered what really causes digestive problems? Did you know that most digestive disorders are not diseases at all, but conditions which can be completely cured by using natural techniques and remedies.
The medical community would have you believe that only prescription drugs can relieve the symptoms of indigestion. This is simply not the case. Antacids are, at best, a temporary fix and they are loaded with harmful ingredients such as sodium and aluminum. PPI drugs should only be used for eight weeks, at most. Then what are you to do? These drugs only mask and hide the symptoms and have hundreds of harmful side effects. They do not heal the condition! They do not make you well! They only make the drug makers wealthier at your expense!
I used to suffer from acute GERD. I was addicted to a PPI drug.....a "certain colored pill". After several years of taking this drug, my condition became worse and I was told to double the dose. I began to feel sluggish and tired. My vision suffered and my blood pressure soared. I realized that these were possible side effects of this PPI drug. I did a computer search and found that there were hundreds of possible side effects. I was shocked and frightened at what I found! I was harming my body and I wanted to stop taking this drug! But when I tried to stop the PPI, he acid pumps, which had been shut off, went wild and produced more acid than ever before.
I can't tell you how much I suffered. My esophagus was constantly burning and l feared that I would permanently damage myself. I couldn't sleep at night. I was afraid to eat or drink anything but water! I was afraid to go out to dinner. I became a recluse. I began to loose my friends. They didn't understand my problem. Friends would call and say, "Let's go out for Mexican, barbeque or pizza". Of course, I couldn't. I loved to eat hot chili sprinkled with raw onions and jack cheese, but it was now my worst nightmare. My life had become unbearable!
I was determined to beat this sickness! My doctor couldn't help me -no one could tell me what to do. I had to heal myself. I became completely dedicated to finding the answers. I studied and researched. I wanted to find naturopathic treatments as opposed to drugs, so I searched high and low for natural remedies that might actually cure acid reflux. I tried every possible treatment that exists, short of voodoo.
I found that the answers to the acid reflux problem are really quite simple. With a few changes in lifestyle and with the help of several natural remedies, one can absolutely beat the acid reflux syndrome, without the use of drugs.
Remember, that the reason this condition exists, in the first place, is due to a damaged esophagus. Let the esophagus heal by not eating the same foods in the same way, that caused the damage. Loosing weight, exercising, chewing properly, drinking sufficient amounts of water and elevating the head at night, are all simple things that anyone can do to improve this condition.
There are also many natural ingredients found in any health store, which an help during the acid reflux recovery period. Herbs, such as slippery elm and marshmallow have wonderful healing properties. Aloe vera juice, licorice and natural honey can sooth the esophagus and assist in the healing process.
By eating dinner at least three hours before retiring, one can drastically reduce the chances of acid reflux. Chewing gum between meals actually reduces stomach acid, and if you really have to have that pasta with tomato sauce, there is always baking soda as a last resort.
Eat smaller, more frequent meals. I eat four or five little meals each day. I start the day with Kukicha Twig tea. I then eat fruit, such as bananas and melons. I have several snacks of walnuts, almonds and more fruit. For lunch I eat a salad, made with grilled chicken breasts, or tofu, mixed with hearts of romaine, tossed with a light lemon and chive vinaigrette.
I have found that it pays to keep the food that you eat as alkaline as possible. I have developed some wonderful recipes, such as pasta primavera, baked chicken breasts on mushroom caps and saut
What Is Royal Jelly
What's all the buzz about royal jelly and is this popular supplement right for you?
Royal jelly, also known as gelee, is a thick gelatinous milky white substance secreted from glands near the head of nurse worker bees and fed to the hive's queen from her larval stages and up into adulthood. Its sole purpose it to stimulate her growth and development. It seems that the royal jelly acts on the juvenile hormones in the developing queen's body and this allows her to mature while the drones, which aren't given royal jelly, remain in a state of physical immaturity. A hive queen can live up to seven years, but without her special diet of royal jelly the queen would have had the same short life cycle of any other worker bee - seven to eight weeks.
The Ancient Egyptians kept bees as far back as 5,500 B.C. and royal jelly has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries and still is today.
People have used royal jelly as a general health tonic for ages but it is also used for specific aliments too. It has be touted to relieve heart, liver, kidney, digestive and skin disorders, to treat high cholesterol, slow the signs of aging, relieve the pain of arthritis, slow the progress of multiple sclerosis, enhance immunity, improve sexual performance, enhance hair growth and even to heal bone fractures. Many people swear that royal jelly helps improve their stamina, energy and overall sense of well being too. Melbrosia, a mixture of royal jelly and bee pollen and is commonly used by menopausal women to manage their hot flashes and other associated physical symptoms.
It is popularly held belief that royal jelly has rejuvenating and anti-aging properties in humans, scientifically it hasn't lived up to this expectation, but it isn't without potential medical benefits.
Royal jelly is comprised of mostly water, but it also contains proteins, fats, sugars and other trace substances too. One of the types of protein found in royal jelly, and one of the sugars, has been found to have antibacterial or antimicrobial properties. The gelee also contains vitamins, minerals and other phytosterols like Neopterin - also found in humans this chemical is believed to play a role in our immune system. According to PDR Health, "Royal jelly may have hypolipidemic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antiproliferative activities. There is very preliminary evidence that it may also have some antibiotic, immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, wound-healing and anti-cancer effects."
As a supplement can be taken in a tablet or capsule form, or it can be ingested in a wide variety of food items such as chocolates, fruit bars and antioxidant drink mixes. Royal jelly can also be found in an amazing array of personal care items like lip balm and skin cream too.
While royal jelly supplements and products are widely available and frequently used pregnant and nursing mothers, those with allergies or hypersensitivities to any of its components shouldn't use this supplement. Side effects include rashes and itching, asthma attacks and bronchospasms, and rarely, anaphylaxis and even death has occurred.
As with any health supplement unsubstantiated claims are common place when it comes to extolling the virtues of royal jelly, and though there are no current studies that point definitively to the benefits of its use there is emerging information that looks hopeful.
What Is A Healing Crisis
A difficult concept to grasp when undergoing a cleansing regimen is the detoxification symptoms that occur along the way. These unpleasant side effects are merely a necessary part of the healing process that we must endure so that we can experience the true benefits of a clean, healthy body.
The turbulence that our bodies experience during detoxification can be scary- even horrifying at times. And if the detox occurs too rapidly, the symptons can be extreme and severe. So severe sometimes that death would be a welcome relief. This is what's called the healing crisis. As the body eliminates the accumulated toxins and waste materials that have been stored for so long, it is natural that this will cause a reaction. Basically, we temporarily relive past conditions and illnesses as they are released. The good news is, once eliminated and released, we are free of future problems and diseases that arise from a toxicated body.
Detoxification can be induced through dietary changes such as going vegan or raw; water or juice fasting; and herbal cleanses. The more toxins that have been accumulated, the sicker and more miserable you will be during a detox cleanse.
A healing crisis is usually identified by:
intense joint or muscle pain
fevers and chills
skin eruptions (acne, pimples, rashes)
The fact that must be faced is that there will be some degree of discomfort as the body rids itself of the poisons and toxins that it has been burdened with for so long.
The symptoms are only indicators that everything is working properly and the discomfort is temporary. If severe symptoms occur for more than 3 days or so, you can get some relief by slowing the detox:
Drink lots of clean, pure water
Get some sunshine and fresh air
Slow down and get plenty of rest
Reduce dosages of herbs if taking teas/capsules
Remember, sometimes things have to get worse before they can get better. It's a difficult time but don't give up. You'll feel so much better when it's over.
You will have faced the challenge and won a major battle. When you are strong for your body, your body will be strong for you!
Words cannot describe how this victory will impact you on many levels- physically, spiritually, emotionally, and psychologically.
So if you can hold on through the turbulent times and rough patches you'll soon be greeted with radiant health and new possibilities.
Sleeping Problems In The Elderly
Sleeping problems in the elderly are more than likely to manifest in a particular pattern, depending on the health of the person, and the prescription drugs they may be taking for their health problems.The quality of their sleep may change considerably, either because of less demands on their energy as a result of retirement, or through illness.
Illness disrupts sleep patters in the elderly, and may result in increased awakenings due to physical discomfort.Urinary urgency, cramps, angina,chronic obstructive airways disease,and left ventricular failure may be some of the many illnesses which cause sleep problems in the elderly.
An elderly person may become very anxious about a change in their sleep pattern, however, it will be necessary to thoroughly investigate the problem in order to ascertain if this perceived sleeping problem, causes dysfunction in their waking activities.If the elderly person has a carer, or lives with family then the problem may be easier to assess, for what appears to be a problem may only be a normal change in sleep pattern for the age.
The most frequently occurring sleep problem in the elderly appears to be sleep latency, the person may spend some hours in bed before sleep occurs. This may be perceived by the elderly person to be a problem, and sleeping pills may be sought.Sleep latency is more common in females, and this appears to apply in all age groups, not just to elderly persons,however, it does occur more often in elderly females.
Possibly reduced daytime activity,combined with daytime naps may contribute to reduced quality of sleep in the elderly. The pressure of a normal working day has been taken away, so the energy output is considerably less, while this may be offered as a possible reason for sleep latency, many others factors may be involved.
There may be much confusion about sleep latency, the difficulty may be exaggerated because the person who experiences it may be convinced that unless they have 8 hours of quality sleep, they will become ill.Sometimes it is difficult to convince an elderly person that they no longer require 8 hours of unbroken sleep, but may be better served by a shorter night time sleep supplemented with day time naps.
Re the old remedy of a glass of milk before bed:
According to Jean Carper, The Food Pharmacy, milk for insomniacs,never!
Milk, particularly low fat milk wakes you up. " Milk deliver tyrosine to the brain, which in turn triggers production of dopamine and norepinephrine, stimulating you to think more quickly, and accurately".
So how can sleep problems in the elderly be resolved? Firstly, a warm comfortable noise free environment, regular exercise, good diet, no heavy meals at night, no eating late at night, relaxation therapies, aromatherapy, herbs like valerian may be taken as a tea, provided that your doctor has been consulted. Homeopathy is the cheapest, the least invasive, the most gentle, with no side effects, and no interactions with any drugs you may be taking. No homeopathic remedies are recommended here for it is important to consult a qualified homeopath in order to achieve the best outcome for the patient.
Sleep problems in the elderly should be thoroughly investigated before any medications are prescribed. Unfortunately this is not always the procedure that is adopted, for often a script is written for what has been described as insomnia by the elderly person, however, such is mostly not the case, but rather it's a normal progression of a resetting of the circadian rhythms which requires education, not medication.
Provided that there is no evidence of disease of the central nervous system, such as dementia, Parkinson's disease, post-traumatic brain damage , and chronic pain, then sleep problems in the elderly are far better managed conservatively.
10 Easy Tips For Arthritis Pain Relief
Think you can't stop that arthritis pain? Great news! You can act now. Get 10 super easy and effective arthritis pain relief tips from arthritis experts and make your life with arthritis a little easier now.
Protect your joints. Don't keep your joints in the same position for a prolonged period of time. Balance your rest and work throughout the day. Use the strongest joints available for the job.
Stretch it. Stretching should be part of every arthritis patient's daily routine. A good stretch helps prevent injuries by warming up muscles and tendons which are more limber and less likely to tear. Spend at least 10 minutes each day stretching, and work each major muscle group.
Cool it down. Stop physical activity. Rest in a cool/shaded environment. Spray with a mist of cool water or wrap an ice pack or cold compress in a towel and apply it to reduce arthritis pain and swelling.
Get moving. Exercise can help reduce joint pain and stiffness and increases flexibility and muscle strength. It can also help with weight control, stress management, and make you feel better overall. The Arthritis Foundation also offers water exercise and other classes.
Get a massage. Massage therapy can relieve your pain, soothe stiff sore muscles, reduce inflammation and swelling. Make sure you use oil or cream on your fingers to make it mroe gentle. Work the area for five to ten minutes a day if possible.
Keep your weight in balance. Being overweight, even just moderately, impacts weightbearing joints and can increase the pain of arthritis. Studies have indicated that losing extra weight lowers the risk for developing osteoarthritis of the knee. Losing weight can help slow the progression of arthritis too.
Get a diagnosis. If you are experiencing symptoms like pain, stiffness, swelling for more than 1 weeks, you should consider seeing your doctor and getting a diagnosis. Remember that there are more than 100 types of arthritis. It is important to get the specific diagnosis for the type of arthritis you have.
Take your medication the right way. Don't stop taking your medication just because you feel it is not working. Check with your doctor first. You need to understand that it may take several days to several months for a medication to become effective.
Look out for new options. Recently FDA has approved some new drugs for osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and other arthritis diseases. If feel that the current medication doesn't work well, check with your doctor about possible new options.
Keep educating yourself. It is important to learn something new about arthritis. Find some good websites online and subscribe to their newsletter if they have it. Join one of two active online arthritis communities like forums or bulletin board. Never hesitate to see your doctors and ask questions.
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